August 10, 2012

15 Websites for Genealogy Education

Would you like to sharpen your genealogy research skills? Learn more about a particular topic? Take your research and writing skills to a whole new level? With back-to-school season at hand, now is the perfect time to think about your goals and opportunities for genealogy education.

We're fortunate to live in an age of plentiful choices, with more options for learning than ever before. Some are short and oriented to a particular topic. Others are designed as longer, more structured programs. Some are free or available at nominal cost, while others require a considerable investment. Institutes and conferences usually involve travel. Skill-building sites, on the other hand, allow you to learn at home any hour of the day. They all fill a niche in the growing demand for quality learning opportunities.
Here are 15 of the top websites for genealogy education today, grouped by type:

Study at Home Programs
Boston University Programs in Genealogical Research
Family Tree University
National Genealogical Society educational courses
National Institute for Genealogical Studies
ProGen Study Group

Genealogy Institutes
British Institute
Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh
Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research
National Institute on Genealogical Research
Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

Websites for Skill Development
Board for Certification of Genealogists skillbuilding articles
Evidence Explained: Elizabeth Shown Mills
FamilySearch Learning Center

National Conferences
Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference
National Genealogical Society Conference

(Update 10/6/12) And here’s a bonus list of sites for webinars:

Genealogy Webinars webinars
Association of Professional Genealogists webinars
       Members’ archives: log in, click “Professional Development”
Dear Myrtle webinars
GeneaWebinars (calendar and announcements)
FamilyTree Magazine webinars
Illinois State Genealogical Society webinars
Legacy Family Tree webinars
Michael John Neill webinars
RootsMagic webinars 
Southern California Genealogical Society webinars
Utah Genealogical Association webinars

While this is by no means a comprehensive list, I truly believe there’s something on here for everyone, from beginners to advanced learners. Your time will be well spent no matter which options you choose.

So sit down and browse awhile. Think about what you’d like to learn, and how. If the time isn’t right to make a long commitment right now, try a short course, and consider the longer one for the future. The important thing is to keep learning. Genealogy is a field of continuous education. Even highly esteemed professionals will admit they’re still learning. I know I certainly am!

And once you’ve decided on something and signed up, treat yourself to a visit to an office supply store to buy some new supplies. After all, there’s nothing like an empty binder, a package of tab dividers, and fresh highlighters to get you in the mood to go back to school.

(Note: I write a column called Gen Ed for The In-Depth Genealogist digital newsletter, where I discuss many of these genealogy education options in more detail. Check out the archives for more information.)


  1. Thank you Shelley - very helpful list!

  2. Shelley, What I a great list. Thank you. I also like SCGS's Jamboree in Burbank, California. While it may be a regional conference, it has great speakers, convenient location, and around 2000 attendees every year.

    1. Thanks, Karen. I appreciate the recommendation for Jamboree--it always sounds like a great event, with equally great speakers. I hope to be able to make it there someday!

  3. Thank you for this list. I'd really like to be more educated about how to find the living. I've gone as far as the 1940 census. I've tried to find obituaries that name surviving family, but not many newspapers in a rural area. Took Megan Smolenyak's webinar, Finding the Living. May try City Directories next, tracing by houses...Great to have your list.

    1. I watched Megan's webinar on Reverse Genealogy, too, and found it fascinating (it's in the Legacy Family Tree webinar archives now). Good luck with your search!

  4. How about the calendar at

    1. I agree, Pat, that's an excellent resource. In fact, I just finished a whole article on webinars that will appear in a future issue of the In-Depth Genealogist. Thanks for the great job you do with the GeneaWebinars calendar!

  5. Thanks for putting this list together!

  6. Just found your list -- a helpful tool ... thanks for posting it!

  7. Glad to know it's helpful to you! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!


Thank you for reading my blog! I welcome and appreciate your comments.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...